Saturday, September 19, 2009
The Return of the Green Eyed Man
So never let it be said that I don't take good intentioned advice to heart and act upon it.
Following my post Update on the Man Front, where I lamented the fact that all the nice men I have met in the past 3 months have inexplicably fallen by the wayside without a backward glance, I decided to text The Man I Left With a Kiss and call Green Eyed Man.
I didn't really need much encouragement, in all honesty. I'm not very good at walking away from what seems like unfinished business. I received an instant reply to my text to The Man I Left With a Kiss - a polite but brief brush off, to all intents and purposes. Hmph. However, my phone message to GEM was a little more productive, prompting a very enthusiastic call back and the arrangement of our first 'date' just over 2 weeks ago.
He suggested we go to the zoo. I can't say I was over enthused. It has been the scene of many a stressed trip with the boys where I have been tempted, on every occasion, to try and find a key to the nearest empty 'enclosure' and just leave them there with all their better behaved animal counterparts. I laughingly joked that I would be taking the trip seriously and would be appropriately attired. (Which in my case meant being armed with a big stick to ward off the hoards of feral offspring rampaging within 10ft of me, thwarting my attempt to enjoy my child-free day.)
Little did I know that he took the joke a little more literally.
So I was a little disconcerted when he came to pick me up looking like a silver haired version of Crocodile Dundee. I didn't know whether to be impressed by his sense of humour and apparent ease of humiliating himself in public (on a first date no less). Or grab a can of mace, in case I had inadvertently arranged a day out with a man released for a day for good behaviour from the local mental hospital. Good lord, I thought, reaching for my darkest of sunglasses in an attempt to promote maximum obscurity, maybe I should have tried a bit harder to find that stick.
Our mooch around the zoo was pretty uneventful. I faked excitement over seeing the bears, because I didn't want to seem completely uninterested, but really I was quite unimpressed with the whole excursion. If I had a penny for every time I have visited the zoo over the past 6 years I am confident all my financial concerns would be well and truly resolved. GEM was good company but first dates are nerve-wracking enough without being out in broad daylight with a virtual stranger who seemed to have dressed for a Halloween party 8 weeks prematurely. So I remained a little wary.
There was brief excitement - in the literal sense - when I humoured him by riding the carousel, yet couldn't coordinate my limbs in a lady-like fashion when mounting the giant leopard and ended up flashing an eyeful of lace covered crotch to the grandad on the ostrich in front. Not my most dignified moment on a first date. It did occur to me once seated that I could have attempted an elegant side saddle manoeuvre. This would certainly would have put less strain on the fabric of my dress, which started the ride stretched to capacity mid-thigh and then proceeded to inch its way further up to my waist with every rotation. Thankfully the ride was mercifully short or else the date might have ended prematurely in an arrest for indecent exposure.
Needless to say, GEM and grandad didn't appear to be too offended by my skirt's apparent reluctance to perform its job in covering my vast expanse of (spider veined) thigh. And I was all the more grateful for having the good sense to appear somewhat incognito behind my oversized dark shades.
After the zoo GEM offered to take me to dinner. Free food? Yes please! And then, possibly due to the introduction of the alcohol factor, the date started to get more interesting. It is just SO much easier to be entertained (and entertaining) after chugging two glasses of red on a virtually empty stomach. I started to relax a little and commence my first date interrogation technique. Who is the real man inside the Crocodile Dundee costume? I was keen to glean an insight into the man masquarading as Chicago's version of a living Steve Irwin. Well, it turns out he doesn't live on a funny farm. But he does live way out in the suburbs, which many city folk would consider just as dubious. He is divorced, has two teenage sons, is employed, goes to church. He was approached a couple of years ago by an agent and now also does TV commercials and works as an extra in movies. He loves Monty Python and can recite almost any of their sketches or movies that you care to mention.
He is funny and charming, incredibly easy to talk to and very easy on the eye.
Well, a) he is American
And b) he is AMERICAN
I know. What are the chances?
After a very entertaining dinner we went for a stroll and ended up in a bar. 'Do you play pool?' he enquired. 'Of course' I blatantly lied and then proceeded to humiliate myself by carving up the billiard table with the cue and mis-hitting every ball. I didn't really mind looking like a fool so much - better that he is under no illusion from the start. But my inability to actually hit, much less pot a ball, was creating the longest ever game of pool in the history of mankind. So when he spontaneously grabbed me in a massive bear hug, I was grateful for the diversion.
And then he kissed me and, for all intents and purposes, that brought an imminent end to the showcasing of my pool playing talents. If I had demonstrated any coordination or even a hint of ability prior to the kiss, well it all went well and truly out of the window after. 'I'm a little distracted right now.' I mumbled, as an explanation for the deterioration in my concentration. So then he kissed me again. A little longer this time. And with a little more intent.
There was a little voice in my head saying, 'whatever you do Nicola, maintain a veneer of sophistication and decorum at all times...'.
Despite the well-intentioned advice, I am not confident that an illusion of sophistication was successfully maintained. It's hard to be sure, but I think if my mother was the judge she would not agree that decorum is demonstrated by kissing passionately to the point of virtually being horizontal over a pool table, in the back of a bar. The little voice in my head was on a losing battle with my body - which instantly regressed to primal instincts alone.
Despite the voice in my head shouting with horror Oh For God's Sake Behave Yourself Woman! You Are A Mother! You Have a Reputation to Upkeep, my body continued to do the equivalent of sticking its fingers in its ears and repeating LA LA LA LA LA. Not listening to you. Can't hear a word you are saying. You might consider yourself a dignified woman of the world, but there's a rampant teenager in hiding in here...and she wants out. So do us all a favour and shut up for a minute so she can just enjoy herself.
Most of the time I am pretty sensible. I have the pretense of acting like a grown-up down to a fine art in most situations. But try telling that to my crotch, which had morphed into a state-of-the-art heat seeking missile and nothing - particularly not my own conscience - was going to thwart its mission of fusing with the opposing (and activated) missile in his groin.
To avoid going into finer detail we managed to extricate ourselves from the pool table and walk hand in hand to his car. Needless to say, it wasn't just my face that was on fire. We repeated the performance in the car park for 45 minutes before driving home and perfecting our dry-humping technique on my doorstep. And then the voice of reason in my head finally won the ongoing argument with my body and I sent him home.
Since then we have seen each other several times (reassuringly on subsequent dates all costume attire has been left at home). I am trying so hard to be casual and frivolous and just enjoy the attention, but it's hard because he is just so damn lovely. Sexy and superficial I can handle. Sexy and nice is just not what I am looking for right now.
But it looks like I might have found it anyway.